PT Food Co-op

The Food Co-op, 414 Kearney Street, Port Townsend, 98368
Port Townsend
Phone: (360) 385-2883

Strategic Plan Renewal: Internal Capacity Building

by Lisa Barclay

This year the board is reviewing and revising our strategic plan to update it for another five years. The plan has five goals, also known as Ends, and these Ends are what help make The Food Co-op different from your usual store. At the July board meeting, we worked on the third End, Internal Capacity Building. Here’s what we came up with: 

New A3 Title: Thriving Workplace

End: An engaged staff and board use their increasing knowledge, skills, and passion to create a thriving workplace.


  • Cultivate best practices as an employer, including fair wages and benefits as well as opportunities for staff and board development.
  • Strengthen internal systems that inspire all staff members to achieve goals and have fun!
  • Encourage a workplace culture that supports our cooperative values.
  • Continue to improve the functional efficiency of our workplace.
  • Equip the management team and board to:
  • Exemplify the cooperative values
  • Govern effectively
  • Lead organizational change
  • Strategically address emerging issues


This End reflects our belief that everything starts with people, that to have a good store and a successful cooperative, we must have a workplace where staff, management, and board all thrive.

To review this End, the board consulted with our member-owners and our staff-members. We concluded that the current title did not capture our goal very well, so we changed it to Thriving Workplace. Though thriving workplace is repeated in the End itself, we decided this emphasis is good. We also recognize that the title is not self-explanatory, but most titles are not—they invite exploration rather than explain outright. The End itself is the explanation.

We added passion to the End because we want staff and board members who are passionate about their co-op, and we also thought it nicely reflected the holism of head, hand, and heart. We brainstormed a list of some qualities we thought should be part of a thriving workplace: Positive, open, transparent, healthy and safe, efficient, supportive, inspirational, diverse, accountable, compassionate, and respectful.

The strategies written five years ago have worked well, so we did not change them drastically. We did decide that the cooperative values—one of the qualities that makes us different from corporate stores—should be explicitly mentioned in the strategies, so we added them. We also heard other good ideas for building a thriving workplace that may not have been added as strategies but were noted as ideas to try out.

Many of the rest of the changes were for clarity rather than to modify the strategies themselves. We could not quite agree if fun should be referred to explicitly, but we were all agreed that working at the Co-op should be fun, so we are leaving it in for the time being.


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